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Finding passwords

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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Senior Member

Finding passwords

Post Posted: Aug 29, 11 19:31

This is a slightly idle Bank Holiday question that I do not seem able to find a simple answer for.

Cracking passwords by brute force means testing every possible password, which in a recent question was thought to be over 900 years at 5 million tests a second.

5 million tests a second sounds a lot (even allowing for writing code in assembler and may be using graphics cards for some of the calculations). Therefore the test must be fairly simple, and I presume only working on a very short buffer.

Can someone point me in the correct direction for understanding these tests, (any relevant URLs) and how does the test know that the answer is correct - assuming no plain text example.

Does a cracking program for AES-256 work very differently in WinZip, WinRAR, maybe PDF files, or is the principle the same for all program types.

A source code example would suit me best
Michael Cotgrove

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